March break has come and gone, and we are hitting the ground running at RL Angus with another staff-led in-service day! Our ongoing goal is to increase capacity among staff in order to build an inclusive model of support within our school. We are continuing our focus on executive functioning by taking a deeper look at how we can make the “Get Ready, Do, Done” strategy (Sarah Ward and Kristen Jacobsen) more accessible for our teachers. This session focused on introducing two new tools; the 360 thinking app, and a Google Slides template that follows the GRDD model.
Initially, we explored the 360 thinking app on the iPads, and soon realized that there is a new Chrome extension “Thinking Time Tracker”. Given that we are fortunate enough to be 1:1 with Chromebooks in our school, this was an exciting revelation! This extension allows you to set the time increments for each stage of the assignment; helping students understand the passage of time as they work through the task breakdown.
One potential roadblock that has come up for staff was that it is difficult in real time to set up their GRDD boards. We put together a digital template that would allow teachers to plan their boards in advance, and then project it for the class along with the “Thinking Time Tracker” clock. We used the in-service time to help teachers build a database of digital GRDD boards for routine activities in their classrooms. Then, they worked on how to incorporate this strategy into longer-term planning, such as a research project.
Our next staff-led in-service is at the end of the month, where we will explore the ChoiceWorks app; an individualized visual scheduler to support students who need additional help with daily routines and transitions. During this time, we plan to work as a team with the classroom teacher, education assistant, and the student, so that everyone can be on the same page with the planning! We are very thankful that SET-BC was able to provide us with 5 iPads that we intend to use for this targeted intervention with some of our most vulnerable students.
The gift of time to continue working on this initiative is invaluable! We are loving the opportunity to collaborate and troubleshoot how to more effectively execute these tools and strategies. So often, teachers find themselves inundated with information, without the time to carefully consider how to actually implement it in their practice. Additionally, as we continue to struggle with Covid restrictions, these moments to find connections with each other prove to solidify our cohesion as a staff!